One of the most important aspects of a successful personal injury case after an accident is the medical care you seek and receive. Medical treatment is critical to a personal injury case because a more efficient case can be made with documentation backing up the injuries you’ve received and the amount of care that has been required to address such injuries. It is very difficult to receive compensation in a personal injury claim unless you have sought medical attention and have the appropriate documentation to prove and support your damages. To read more about seeking treatment after an accident, check out the section of the website on the topic.
A common treatment plan includes emergency care and treatment by a family doctor. There is a two-pronged test for medical treatment:
- Is the treatment reasonable in terms of price, duration, and time?
- Is the treatment necessary given the injury?
You must be consistent with your medical care as it demonstrates the seriousness of injuries you’ve received as a result of the accident.
Lapses in Medical Treatment
You should also avoid any lapse in treatment between when the accident occurred and when you actually seek treatment for your injuries. Ideally, you should seek medical care as soon as possible after your accident; typically within 1 to 3 days is an appropriate timeframe because it is still close to the time of the accident.
Waiting for an extensive period of time prior to seeking medical treatment is not recommended as it may cause discrepancies and weaken your personal injury claim. Usually, waiting more than 10 to 14 days to go to the doctor after your accident can harm your personal injury claim.
Additionally, you should avoid any lapses in medical treatment throughout your medical treatment. For example, it is inadvisable to seek treatment, follow the doctor’s orders for a short period, and then once your life gets busy and you are unable to follow your doctor’s instructions begin to miss appointments.
Missing appointments or receiving inconsistent care may weaken your case against the insurance company as the insurance company will be able to make an argument that they should not be responsible for covering the costs of your unreasonable or unnecessary medical treatment. Continuity in care is extremely important for the same reasons. As such, you should go to all appointments and be consistent in following your doctor’s orders.
Tips for Seeking Medical Care
Here are some tips to follow when you consider going to the doctor following an accident:
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible after your car accident to ensure all injuries related to the accident are accounted for. This will also make for a stronger personal injury case.
- Seek medical treatment that is both reasonable and necessary.
- Do not “double treat,” or go to two similar types of doctors for the same injury.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to treatment and care. This includes recommendations regarding seeing a specialist for your injuries as well as any limitations regarding your daily activities. Be cautious when a doctor urges you to continue treatment even after you feel your symptoms have resolved. If your injuries have healed and you feel you no longer require treatment, you should make this clear to your medical provider and consider ending treatment.
- If you have a pre-existing injury that may have been made worse by the accident, it may be advisable to receive treatment from a physician who is not familiar with your pre-existing injury as he or she will be able to examine your injuries related to the car accident without bias.